Jana Sterbak, Artist as Combustible, 1986. Color photograph.
Purchase - Special Purchase Assistance Grant, Canada Council for the Arts, 2002. Collection, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University. Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay

August 30 – October 27, 2012

Curated by Mélanie Rainville

Bertille Bak, Olivia Boudreau, Louis-Philippe Côté, Rachel Echenberg, Erin Gee, Nelson Henricks, John Massey, Thérèse Mastroiacovo, Alana Riley, Jana Sterbak, Sharif Waked, Hong-Kai Wang

Exhibition Opening
Wednesday August 29, 5:30 – 7:30

Ways of Thinking

Critics, art historians and theorists have often noted a divide between contemporary artists and their publics. This divide is particularly noticeable when the media transforms artistic occurences into controversies. Interactions, an exhibition that offers both a pedagogical and esthetic experience, deals with the reception and interpretation of contemporary art by investigating the rift that persists between art and the public, despite increased institutionalization and professionalization of art.

The exhibition, featuring some works from the Gallery’s permanent collection underscores the interaction that takes place between artworks and the public. It aims to define the nature of this relationship by posing questions on the reception of the works: What is our relationship to works of contemporary art, and how do we interpret them? What impact do they have on our way of understanding and reflecting on the world around us? What thought processes and actions do these artworks incite in us? In order to raise these questions, the works are subjected to various interpretive strategies that deepen and stratify their reception. With the goal of highlighting some of the parameters that define the gap between contemporary art and its publics, the exhibition includes written and spoken accounts of some thirty participants to the project as well as documentation on various controversies that have taken place in Québec and Canada.

Interactions initiates a process of reflection within the art milieu on a question that is often only debated when it becomes the subject of a controversy fueled by the media.

Rose-Marie Arbour, Olivier Asselin, Guylaine Beaudry, Anne Bérubé, Claude R. Blouin, Nicole Burisch, Kevin Calixte, Adam Cantor, Prof. Norman Cornett, Timothy Dallett, Louise Dandurand, Denise Desautels, Martin Dicaire, Jason Friedman, Amelia Jones, Stéphanie Julien, Tania Laliberté, Nicole Lattuca, Marc James Léger, Fabien Loszach, François Morelli, Claude Poissant, Eduardo Ralickas, Anil Ramcharand, Raymond Saint-Pierre, Cheryl Sim, Dominique Sirois-Rouleau, Erandy Vergara Vargas, Anne Whitelaw, Ida Zhang

The Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery’s contemporary exhibition program is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Hong-Kai Wang acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan.